Early this week, sitting down on the kitchen floor in my small one bedroom apartment in California, Paul and I broke up.
Moose walked between us as our heavy words, filled the heavy room, resting his little paw on one of our legs, and then coming over to try to fit on the lap of the other. Trying to bring back together the space that was slowly breaking.
I couldn’t look at him, this sweet man across from me, so I looked everywhere else. I looked over his right shoulder to the French press that he got me, when mine broke, that we took to Mendocino as we took in the ocean views over a long weekend. I looked up to where my motorcycle helmet is, and called back the freedom of riding of holding my heart close to him, where it felt like it belonged, with no space in between us, as I would hold him tight and he would show me the most amazing views. I looked at this little dish I keep on my kitchen counter that has things that remind me of us falling in love, the cork from our first bottle of wine, a postcard he sent me from a trip…these small things that I’d run my hands over often to remember the feeling of falling in love.
I looked at the space between us now, and felt my heart that felt the shame of not belonging to anyone…in the 20 minutes it took us to break up, I couldn’t look at him.
2-weeks ago, we dressed up like little 80 year olds for halloween, a plan we concocted over margaritas and guacamole, a few days before on a Saturday night. I arrived to his apartment that Saturday, feeling tired and sad. I’ve been tired and sad from the things I am not saying. This has been my state lately, tired and sad, and it’s broken up by moments of work with a team I love, long walks alone, connections with friends, and teaching yoga. I arrived to his apartment and went right into his big safe arms, and looked up at him, and said ‘I feel sad today, but I’m glad I’m here’ he smiled sweetly and said, ‘well I know what will fix that: tacos’ – I smiled warmly at his simple answer. I leaned in the doorframe of the bathroom and watched him shave ‘I’m getting extra handsome for you’ he said and smiled broadly, I walked into the kitchen to pour a cold beer into a coffee mug to walk with to the restaurant.
I reached for his hand on the walk over, and there it was, where it always is, just right there, and we began to share our weeks as they had unfolded. We hit a nice groove on the walk over. We don’t always…if we haven’t seen each other in a few days it can take us a bit of time to get through that space. What keeps us there is the guilt I have over doing a whole lot of other things that are meaningful to me, including, requiring and asking for a decent amount of alone time, and his story that he tried so hard to be bigger than, that I don’t love him the way that I could, or frankly, that he needs.
When I met Paul 8 months ago, I was in a job that was inevitably ending, I was not teaching yoga consistently; I hadn’t made too many friends yet. I gave him everything, because I had everything to give. This was met with the total and absolute absurdity that is falling in love. The wonderful and ridiculous of offering your heart, your late nights, and early mornings to a someone who makes your heart come fully alive.
I remember on our 3rd date, we had packed a picnic and we went to lay down in the grass at a nearby park. It was hot out, and it was a Sunday. We ate strawberries that he had brought, and the 3 inches of space between us felt like way too much space. I started sending out telepathic signals for him to kiss me. Feeling dramatic like an 8th grade girl that if he didn’t kiss me, I was literally going to die. He was talking and I have no clue what he was saying, because I was too busy and preoccupied sending him signals to kiss me, kiss me already, seriously, kiss me, kiss me dammit. It had been over a year since I had smooched anyone, and being the self-proclaimed make out bandit that I am, this needed to end. And this beautiful man before me? It needed to end here and now.
My NASA strength signals worked, and I remember the exact moment he reached over to draw me in, I exhaled a silent hallelujah and leaned in to kiss him back. We were those idiots in the park. The ones making out on a blanket, pausing only to laugh with way too much enthusiasm over each others jokes, to go back in to make out some more. I remember gently touching his face, and seeing his blue eyes all alive and here with me, so present, so honest, and I knew I wanted to fall in love with this man right here. So I did.
We would fall in love quickly and honestly. We would talk about moving in together, about baby names, and what to make for dinner. He’d take me places in California and in just one day we’d ride through the redwoods, past the vineyards, and to the coast. His family came to visit, and they brought me into the fold right away. The sweetest sweetest family. His Mom would send me texts often, and after a recent discovery of emoji’s, would write me paragraph long texts all in emoji’s, and sign it with a flurry of Roses. Love Rosie. Ps. make sure you guys water the plants…
I called my girlfriends at home in NY and said this was it. Guys. This is it. And my Dad would get on the phone and said your Aunt Janine said she saw Paul on facebook and he looks like a really great guy (my parents don’t have the internet and still have flip phones)… we’re glad you’re not alone, he said, we were worried about you. Then my Mom, with less couth, gets on the phone, heavy Korean accent. OH MY GOD, LYN, (only my parents call me that), YOU HAS A BOYFRIEND, HE IS TALLLLLL (laughs, thinks this is hilarious), TELL HIM TAKE YOU TO NICE DINNER, TELL HIM TO BE GOOD TO MOOSE, TELL HIM NOT TO LET YOU GET AWAY. (ps if you didn’t get it already, my mom’s normal talking voice is really freaking loud).
All my pictures would suggest that I was living the dream. That my barn wedding, with mason jars, candlelight, and only our closest friends and family singing loudly to the chorus of Ho, hey. ‘I’ve been trying to do it right…I’ve been living a lonely life’ ‘I belong with you…you belong with me, my sweetheart.’ –was being planned.
These plans fell by the way of life as it unfolded. Realizations that could not be undone. Knowing facts you cannot un-know. As my life grew full with a new job I care deeply for, teaching 4 classes a week in hours that fill my soul, finding time to nurture connections in my brand new town…and the time I need to simply be alone…we began to drift.
There was always a level of accusation when we’d come back together. To the same space. His MBA program ended, leaving him with way more free time, and my schedule went the total opposite way. I remember saying to him months ago, if we ever reach a point where we are not working toward the middle…we’re done. He agreed. In the past few months, our middle has grown ocean sized. Surely, someone was wrong here, so we both took on pointing fingers, and love was always the solve…but not the solution.
As we spoke the words this past week, on the floor, in my kitchen, the words that broke us, the finger pointing had come to a total cease. What we had learned in the past few months about each other were of the dramatic differences in how we saw life unfolding.
Where this leaves my heart in it’s current broken state is in so many ways we want the very same things, we wanted to be 80 together, and it’s not a matter of readiness. We are both ready. Our core values are all synced up, why then, wouldn’t that be enough?
It’s that deep deep intuitive voice that kept saying no, and when I gave the space to hear him too…he confessed the very same thing. As someone who has broken up with people for the most absurd reasons all based in fear in it’s highest form…I can say with the grace of what I’ve learned before, that that isn’t it.
The road I’ve traveled down this week has most certainly included the self depreciating dialogue of ‘Lyndsey, what is wrong with you, a life with Paul was guaranteed love, safety, stability, family’ all the things I know I desire on a deep soul level. So why not now?’ The other depreciating voice sounds like this ‘Lyndsey, you did it again, you are alone again, and now you’re 32, now you’ve really done it, what are people going to think.’
I’ve slowly started to let people know this week what has happened, and I’ve gotten all sorts of reactions. I’m grateful for all of them, as they all represent reactions of people who love me who have known me best at various stages of my life.
Right now, I don’t feel good. I miss Paul, and I miss being the other half of someone. I miss knowing that safety and relief, that I am somebody’s sun, moon and stars. I miss knowing that I would never have to wait more than 24 hours to be kissed, held, and knowing that I was loved.
But a break is never just right down the middle. It’s jagged, and complicated. It’s shameful, and uncertain. It’s lonely. But it’s also a time to see and celebrate, a time to stand strong in what’s possible when you love fully, proof to commit to love. Proof that love is the biggest thing in the world that matters the most.
I’m starting over.
But I’m not running away. All this alone time I was craving? Yep, got plenty of that now. So it’s time to settle in and see. What am I creating. Where am I going. Who will I love. How will I love. How will it feel.
What do I want my life to feel like?
Now, what do I want to do. How do I want it to feel. This big giant sized question has truly informed my life the past few months, and I refuse to leave it behind now.
I know that by the Spring I will be living at the Ocean. I know it because I’ve always known it. Now I’m freight train declaring it, and I know I’ll get there. I will live at the ocean, the one and only source that humbles me in such a way, in it’s great vast power. I will be thriving in work that totally lights me up and supports me in my big dreaming and commitment to connection. I will be surrounded by like minded powerful beings that I laugh, work, am strong, and vulnerable with. I will not block love. I will be the conduit. Until then, operation Lyndsey loves Sacramento is in full-swing, and I’m going to love up on this town with a curiosity and playfulness. I am going to commit fully to my work, and teach dynamite yoga, I am going to say yes to glasses of wine and cups of tea even when I am ‘tired.’ I am going to call bullshit on myself anytime I feel I am hiding.
A dear friend said to me this week, you continue to choose partners who will love you more than you will love them…you are afraid to call into your life someone who will challenge you to love harder.
She’s correct. And that was one of the most honest truths anyone has ever spoken to me.
The most honest truth, is likely, the one you are not speaking.
I am calling forth the kind of love that scares me in its greatness. Into what we could do together in this world, and I want to do much. I want to live internationally and domestically, I want to take my camera out and grow this form of art as an expression of self, I want our family to grow with sweet little babes running around, sweet, silly, and free. All this hunger and passion that lives inside of me, I want to live outside of me, and I do not ever want to apologize.
I want to continue assembling this dream team of friends and framily (friends that become family) so that I may continue to drive past my story of being alone and not belonging, I know this is my work every damn day. Movers, shakers, dreamers…I want to only be surrounded by those changing the game, exclusively.
I want to believe what I already know…so it’s more than, about remembering. That I am whole. That I am complete. That every single day I cultivate the listening that guides me into life, fearless.
I want to continue to have gratitude everyday. For this beautiful life that I have chosen, that breaks my heart again and again…which shows me each time, how worth it is to even try.
I am that example for you, and that is my commitment. To uncover and explore this thing called life and share with you about it.
It’s a wild ride. And sometimes, I just want off. I want the safety of the majority. I want the comfort of knowing. I want to take my ball, and go the fuck home.
But then I sacrifice being extraordinary, and I just wont do that.
Here’s to it all. And love, you crazy fool, most of all, here’s to you.
To the sweet wonderful man who let me love you the past 8 months of our lives, I will always love you in the special way reserved in our hearts for people and experiences like this. You will always be a reason my first year in California was so magical. I will hear your name, and I will always smile, I will always, always want to know that you are doing wonderfully. I miss being the second half of us, reaching down and knowing your hand is not there, I know we will lead more authentic lives to our truest selves, apart. Staying together would have been easy. Supporting each other in our paths is the hard part. I’m up for it if you are. And that goes for all of you.
How does your life feel? How does your heart feel?
One of my very favorite quotes I have shared with you before.
‘be brave enough to break your own heart’ – Cheryl Strayed, Wild.